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Strike still an option as EMU faculty work without labor contract

EMU faculty picket outside dorms during student move-in day.
Josh Hakala
89.1 WEMU
EMU faculty picket outside dorms during student move-in day.

The labor contract has expired between the union representing tenured and tenured-track faculty and Eastern Michigan University. However, despite the deadline passing, those educators are still in classrooms working without a contract.

According to the EMU American Association of University Professors, enough progress was made during Wednesday night’s negotiations that they are willing to continue the talks and work without a contract. But the union says the possibility of a strike is still on the table.

The two sides have gotten closer on base salary increases but health care benefits remain a sticking point.

EMU spokespersonWalter Kraft says the school’s offers to the faculty are fair.

“Our offers and what they’ve received in the past are pretty consistent, in fact, in some cases, more than what’s happened at our counterparts.”

The union argues the increases don’t make up for the school’s proposed reduction of health care benefits.

On Thursday, the administration filed for “fact finding,” where a state-appointed, independent party reviews the claims from both sides and makes recommendations.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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